Dr Paul Sherrard is set to make his fourth charity trip to rural East Africa this summer, this time working with his son Edward, to offer dental care to impoverished communities.
The pair will be travelling many miles along poor roads and dirt tracks into the Ugandan bush to set up temporary surgeries in villages with no running water or electricity and where the inhabitants would not normally have access to medical or dental treatment.
Edward, a fourth year dental student at Newcastle University, and his dad expect to find a huge need for help- on a previous visit Paul extracted more than 1,000 teeth in two weeks to relieve toothache. They are also hoping to provide oral hygiene instruction and give out hundreds of toothbrushes. Two of the main causes of the villagers' tooth decay is grazing on sugar cane and the increasing availability of sugary drinks.
Edward and Paul will be working alongside a team of British and Ugandan doctors and nurses aiming to promote sustainable healthcare in these far flung communities.
The trip has been organised with the Rock of Joy Trust (rockofjoy.co.uk) which was established to support schools and communities in Uganda after initial visits from Heswall medics and churchgoers in 2007.
Since then volunteers from the UK have returned annually to work towards their goals of establishing clean water supplies, building new schools, sponsoring teachers and attending to the medical needs of the community.
The volunteers on this trip will include 30 teenagers from Heswall Youth Fellowship, some of whom will assist the medical team, while the rest will run fun clubs, sports sessions and lessons in the three Christian schools supported by the trust. The youngsters will have spent a year training and preparing for the trip.
Paul and Edward will be taking all their dental equipment with them in two suitcases, and are also hoping to raise funds to buy mosquito nets for villagers- a simple but effective way to provide protection from malaria.
Said Paul: "It is always a privilege to be part of the trip, and I always feel humbled by the team spirit and sincere kindness shown to us by the Ugandan people we meet."